Five activists from the nascent gay rights group GetEQUAL are staging a sit-in at Arizona Senator John McCain's office.

In a Twitter post, the group said: “FIVE PROTESTERS ARE SITTNG IN McCAIN'S OFFICE RIGHT NOW – Call his office 2 voice support 4 repeal #DADT.”

McCain is the leading voice among Republicans that oppose repeal of “don't ask, don't tell,” the 1993 law that prescribes discharge for gay troops that do not remain celibate or closeted.

Earlier in the month, McCain told the Arizona Daily Star that the military ban on open gay service is not a civil rights issue.

“No. No, I don't,” McCain answered when asked “Do you see it as some have put it as a civil rights issue?”

“As Colin Powell said when 'don't ask, don't tell' was first inaugurated, there's a difference between sexual preference and the color of one's skin. That was General Powell's statement,” he added.

While McCain acknowledged that Powell has since come out in support of repeal of “don't ask, don't tell,” the law that prescribes discharge for gay troops who do not remain celibate or closeted, he added: “I don't think he views it now as a civil rights issue, though.”

When asked if he had sought out the opinion of gay troops in making his conclusion, McCain answered that that would be “nuts.”

The 73-year-old McCain, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, has said that he believes the ban is working.

“I'm convinced that it is working and has worked well,” he added.

GetEQUAL is led by lesbian activist Robin McGehee. The group is also behind last week's “don't ask” action that interrupted President Obama as he spoke at a fundraiser in California for fellow Democrat Senator Barbara Boxer and a House committee disruption urging movement on ENDA, an employment gay protections bill stuck in the committee.

UPDATE: All 5 protesters were taken into custody. A rally in support of the protesters will begin at 5PM in Phoenix at 5353 N. 16th St.